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Did you see Shaqiri and Xhaka's controversial celebrations against Serbia — Albanian Eagle

23 June, 2018, 05:30 | Author: Delia Walker
  • Kieran Trippier

But it was Stoke City winger Shaqiri who struck the decisive blow, breaking through Serbia's offside trap to slot home calmly as the 90 minutes wound down.

Xhaka curled the ball through traffic to tie the game at 1-1, and Ivanovic suddenly became a very unpopular man on social media.

Tensions have been building in Serbia ahead of the Switzerland match.

In truth, Switzerland were poor in the first half, and Serbia should have capitalised on the momentum they built in the first 45 minutes, but having failed to score a second, the Swiss came out after the restart a completely different entity, and the Serbs, as a result have left their World Cup campaign in major jeopardy.

After scoring the dramatic victor, Shaqiri wheeled away to the Serbian fans and crossed his hands over his chest to represent the Albanian Eagle.

Brazil, Switzerland and Serbia could all still claim first place in the group with a win on Wednesday.

"In football you have always emotions and you can see what I did and it's just emotion", he said in reference to his controversial celebration. I spoke to the father of one of our players who is Albanian, and he told me about this history.

"I think we should not talk that much but show our mettle on the pitch".




As he wheeled away in celebration, the Kosovo-born playmaker crossed his hands to imitate an eagle, which appears on Albania's flag, prompting reporters to ask whether the gesture was a statement in light of Serbia's failure to recognise his birthplace as an independent state.

Switzerland midfielder Valon Behrami is receiving treatment for a muscle problem but is still likely to play.

Switzerland's coach, Vladimir Petkovic, said: "You should never mix politics and football".

Switzerland coach Vladimir Petkovic hoped the gestures wouldn't detract from the team's performance. It's a wonderful atmosphere and positive emotions and that's what football should be about. Switzerland were terrific against Brazil and deserved their point - what they lack up front they more than make up for in the unyielding qualities of their midfield.

After a pulsating affair at the Kaliningrad Stadium, Serbia are on the brink of elimination after Switzerland triumphed 2-1 in Group E.

Serbia coach Mladen Krstajic was equally reluctant to be drawn into the debate.

Serbia could have gone in two goals to the good at the break but Matic missed a glorious chance when Tadic's in-swinging corner found him unmarked at the back post but he couldn't sort his feet out.

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